Slate’s John Dickerson on the “Turki Dinner”

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clemons and turki.jpg
Slate‘s John Dickerson has published an article, “Turki Dinner: A Revealing Evening with the Saudi Ambassador” that explores both the substance and nuances of Saudi Ambassador to the US Prince Turki Al-Faisal’s comments at a dinner I helped organize on Monday evening.
In his piece, Dickerson writes:

The Bush administration has been faulted for not acting quickly enough after the recent violence started, but Prince Turki criticized Bush for not acting to solve the tension long before the recent flare up began.
Two months ago, Prince Saud al-Faisal, the Saudi foreign minister, brought a letter to Bush from King Abdullah advocating the steps necessary for implementing Middle East peace. “The president expressed excitement and willingness,” said the ambassador, “but, alas, there was no follow through.” The inactivity contributed to the current crisis: “The decisions made yesterday bear their bitter fruit today.”
The president and his advisers have said that the current violence is helping clarify the choices for all Middle Eastern leaders. When Saudi officials first spoke out against Hezbollah’s actions, the Bush team pointed to their remarks as proof that the new Middle East they have promised was coming to life. No longer would the Saudis and other Arab states react with knee-jerk anti-Israeli sentiment; instead, they were speaking out against the extremists.
Monday night, Turki continued to criticize Hezbollah, dismissing their “reckless adventure under the guise of resistance,” but the criticism was not the sign of a new worldview. It was almost a rhetorical device, an obligatory sentence that prepared the way for his larger, full-throated condemnation of Israel and, by proxy, its American ally.
He placed the blame for the recent violence not on the extremists but on Israel, which he claimed was engaged in a “war on Lebanon” and a “siege of Palestine.” The Israeli “occupation of Palestine and Shebaa is the causus belli of all that is happening today in Lebanon and Palestine,” he began. He then went on to belittle Israel’s military: “Hezbollah and Hamas have captured three soldiers of the vaunted Israeli army, whose incompetence was clearly displayed by these captures. The same vaunted Israeli army has struck back with surgical accuracy in killing innocent civilians and U.N. observers in Lebanon and Palestine, further demonstrating their ineptness and brutality.”
Turki urged a return to the peace plan proposed by Abdullah in 2002 as offering Israel the most comprehensive solution, including an end of hostilities and normalized relations in return for total Israeli withdrawal from Arab occupied territories, including Jerusalem. “The United States must play the role of pacifier and lead the world to peace and not be led by Israel’s ambitions,” he said, characterizing the Bush administration not just as inactive, but as such a supine thing that it can be led around by Israel.
And remember, Saudi Arabia is our ally.

John Dickerson’s characterization of the Saudi Ambassador’s comments rings true to the evening — and the fact is that while Prince Turki did solidly condemn Hezbollah, and while I think his condemnation was more genuine than Dickerson gives credit for, the Ambassador essentially mocked Israel’s military and was a bit over the top in his clear disdain for Israel’s government — even giving room for fair criticism of Israel’s recent actions.
I found much of what Ambassador Turki said that night useful in the sense that one could see how a regional deal that included the Saudis as partner with Israel and the US — as well as buffer from less constructive parts of the Middle East — might be accomplished.
But I part company from the Ambassador on the mockery of the Israeli army and for not at least acknowledging that while Israel’s response to the provocations by Hezbollah and militant Hamas members has been dramatically overdone, the fact is that Hezbollah was developing a significant military capacity that was threatening to Israel.
There is something quite worrisome about the fact that Israel has not succeeded in quickly shutting down Hezbollah in a manner somewhat like the Israelis accomplished against three national armies in the Six Days War.
Israel, the Saudis, everyone in the region has been surprised by the quality of Hezbollah’s command and control structure and the sophistication of its weapons. An intelligence source of mine reports that Hezbollah hit an Israeli warship with a sophisticated Iranian-made missile — that strangely was modified to try and appear as if its markings and serial numbers were American made. (This has not been reported in the press, and I hope to have more on this story tomorrow.)
But Israel has a similar problem to the United States facing it now — no matter what the content of an eventual cease fire arrangement looks like.
The mystique of Israel’s superpower status in the region has been somewhat deflated.
The combination of a dramatic, massive response to Hezbollah and Hamas that has in both cases largely failed to either secure the soldiers who were abducted or to quickly incapacitate its enemies have emboldened some foes of Israel who now perceive Israel to be weak. America’s perceived weakness is a function of our floundering in Iraq — and now Israel is facing hard realities of its own that there are limits to the kind of power it has been deploying.
This is a real problem — because Israeli security is something that does need to be maintained.
Prince Turki acknowledged that Israel had seriously eroded Hezbollah’s military capacity — despite the fact that Hezbollah was enjoying significant political success throughout the Middle East because of the perception of surviving Israel’s onslaught. But Israel needs to find a balance between the substantive goal of declawing Hezbollah while at the same time behaving in such a manner that it does not undermine its political position or perception of its power in the region.
Israeli power and the perception of American guarantees of Israel are what compel the Saudis to keep trying to broker some sort of long term deal between the parties in conflict. If Israeli power lessens, and if the US is made to look impotent in the region (which occurred when the promised 48 hour cease fire by Israel was violated as soon as Condi Rice’s plane left Israel), that kind of long term peace won’t be pursued by the Saudis or any other Arab states.
I am thinking of inviting Israeli Ambassador to the US Daniel Ayalon to speak in my program as I think it’s very important to connect with Israel’s envoys about what is possible beyond the current conflict.
Stay tuned.
– Steve Clemons

Comments

34 comments on “Slate’s John Dickerson on the “Turki Dinner”

  1. MP says:

    Den writes: “Been googling, MP? Actually, gray space aliens are not science fiction per se, as some people actually believe they do exist. ”
    Actually, I was talking with a friend and mentioned that there was this guy, Den Valdron, who had some intelligent things he say on this site TWN. He said, “Yeah, I know him. I’ve read some of his stories.” That’s how I knew.
    I’m sure some people believe the Hobbit exist; that doesn’t mean Tolkien’s stories weren’t fantasy.

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  2. Matthew says:

    Ever notice how people who advocate attacking other nations try to justify their violence by using phrases like “jihadist barbarism”? I guess it takes a barbarian to know one.

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  3. MP says:

    “”the fact is that Hezbollah was developing a significant military capacity that was threatening to Israel.”
    Now what “military capacity” might that be that would threaten the most highly armed nation in the region? The anti-ship rocket? Jizbullah seems to have only few of them, and afaik they are only good for naval surface targets, not for ground-ground missions. The vast majority of Hizbullah’s rockets are unguided. Despite their lousy accuracy, on average about one missile of one hundred will kill a civilian, so they are a terror weapon, not a military one, and certainly< not threatening Israel’s existence. And the Hizbullah guerilla force is only good at defending and simple infiltration missions like the kidnapping. Nobody would say they are able to lauch a threatening attack against Israel.”
    The implication of this line of reasoning is that Israel should wait until Hizbollah and Hamas can really kick ass and then go after them. Why should–would–they ever do that? It also assumes that talking with Hizbollah and Hamas (which I support) would turn them away from violence and from trying to acquire the means to do even more harm to Israel. To me, this is an open question–one worth testing–but still an open question.

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  4. Gray says:

    “the fact is that Hezbollah was developing a significant military capacity that was threatening to Israel.”
    Now what “military capacity” might that be that would threaten the most highly armed nation in the region? The anti-ship rocket? Jizbullah seems to have only few of them, and afaik they are only good for naval surface targets, not for ground-ground missions. The vast majority of Hizbullah’s rockets are unguided. Despite their lousy accuracy, on average about one missile of one hundred will kill a civilian, so they are a terror weapon, not a military one, and certainly< not threatening Israel’s existence. And the Hizbullah guerilla force is only good at defending and simple infiltration missions like the kidnapping. Nobody would say they are able to lauch a threatening attack against Israel.
    So, with a lot of respect, Mr. Clemons, but I don’t see any base for your statement. would you pls enlighten us?

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  5. MP says:

    After “reading” your post, I’d have to agree: “Not so promising-obviously.”

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  6. yahaddasayit says:

    Well, MP, if you caught O’Reilly last nite you’d be aware of his fear that the blogosphere is availing to everyone interested much more information than America’s traditional gatekeepers are willing to expose. And since you are on this board you can attest to the unlimited “openess” dealing with the Israel-Palestine issue. Now you add to that the fact that(and this is not verified) most of us HERE don’t arrive with the neuroses that “we’ve been picked on our entire history”, “we’re the chosen”, “we deserve this historically religious property”, etc… Now truly, how open a debate can be engendered when one carries such baggage? No, I would say this country(USA) takes a backseat to no one regarding the free and “open” debate of ideas. The application of potential intellect derived therefrom? Not so promising-obviously.

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  7. MP says:

    It’s pretty clear that both sides have missed opportunities to conclude a peace. Blaming the lack of peace on one side really just goes against the facts…or the entire set of facts. Each side has been more than willing to conclude a peace as long as it contained non-negotiables anathema to the other side.
    Calling Israel a terrorist state is just silly. Like virtually every other state in existence it came into this world in a violent, messy way. But demonizing it is just silly. Israel is a democracy, and certainly compared with every other state in the region or much of the world it is much more a democracy.
    And certainly, on this one issue alone, the Israeli-Palestinian issue, there is FAR MORE open debate in every sector of Israeli society than there is here, in the EU, or in most of parts of the world (I would venture to guess). Ask Steve: he spoke about just this on the radio last night.

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  8. Carroll says:

    If “our ally” Saudi Arabia and other Arab “allies” in the region cannot accept the necessity of active, as opposed to passivee American support for Israel, then their reluctant, rather suspect undertakings to respect Israel’s right to exist should be regarded as frauds, and Amercia must confront itself with the moral choice of abandoning Israel for oil or for putting its blood and treasure where its mouth is in underwriting the existence of the only oasis of humanism in a desert of atavistic jihadi barbarism.
    Posted by jm_rice at August 2, 2006 09:29 PM
    Are you crazy or just ignorant Jim? What about the Saudi peace plan in 2003, what about all the calls from the Saudis for Bush to “engage” in the peace process? What about the Saudis hosting Bush’s peace summit? Where you been boy? to too many ZOA meetings?
    And Israel is hardly an island of democracy, they just happen to be a terrorist “State” instead of a terrorist “non-state group”.
    I certainly don’t support Israel any more than I support any other state in the region and certainly don’t think they are worth ruining US relations with the rest of the world for…and there is certainly nothing moral about supporting Israel considering their own lack of morals…we should not support either actively or passively.
    We should cut all ties with Israel and let the cards land where they may.

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  9. yahaddasayit says:

    Mr. Rice:
    Humanism? From a state founded on religious “principles”? What dictionary are you referencing? Atavistic? That wouldn’t apply to the Zionists? Jihadi. Although the word is linked with Muslims, the rest of the definition could be applied to the constant land grab ever since the zionists gave cover to anyone who needed an excuse to behave in greedy or self-important manner. And no one enabled by sight or sound and minimal I.Q. would absolve Israel from its share of barbarism.
    Well, it was a run-on paragraph anyway.

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  10. jm_rice says:

    I’ve always been amazed at those who interpret as pro-Israeli the Bush Administration’s benign neglect policy, in the Palestinian-Lebanese theatre of the Middle East conflict. Presumably, the thinking goes that when the U.S. is proactive in the region it leashes the Israeli pitbull.
    Quite the contrary obtains. As the current situation attests, it is the Israelis, robust as they are, who, by America’s non-intervention — whether by design or by preoccupation — are left to fend for themselves, surrounded by a pack of pitbulls eager to tear them from limb to limb.
    If Israel is to survive, it is not enough that America leave hands off, except for vetoing anti-Israeli Security Council resolutions, which costs it nothing. America must indeed engage itself in the Middle East, pro-actively, but squarely on the side of Israel.
    If “our ally” Saudi Arabia and other Arab “allies” in the region cannot accept the necessity of active, as opposed to passivee American support for Israel, then their reluctant, rather suspect undertakings to respect Israel’s right to exist should be regarded as frauds, and Amercia must confront itself with the moral choice of abandoning Israel for oil or for putting its blood and treasure where its mouth is in underwriting the existence of the only oasis of humanism in a desert of atavistic jihadi barbarism.

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  11. Den Valdron says:

    Been googling, MP? Actually, gray space aliens are not science fiction per se, as some people actually believe they do exist. They’re more in the province of sociology and American folklore, and quite fascinating in that respect. I wouldn’t recommend belief though.
    There’s an interesting phenomenon. In the 50′s and 60′s, all the aliens were tall, blonde and friendly. They would give people rides in their spaceships and say things like “Nice planet, don’t blow it up.” Nowadays, the aliens are gray and weird, they don’t care whether we blow up the planet and don’t give rides, they just probe our rectums, mutilate our cattle and form secret deals with the government. Sort of an interesting comment on how America’s perceptions have changed.
    In terms of Al Quaeda, I think that there’s more than enough evidence to suggest that it has real roots in Islamic culture and is not a CIA catspaw.
    As far as 9/11 goes, American culture has neatly cordoned that off. But I think that at the very least, there was a clear demonstration of spectacular incompetence and negligence both before and during.
    In terms of the goals of Islamists and Al Quaeda, I think the evidence is that their objectives are considerably narrower.

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  12. Carroll says:

    In the event Isr and the neo’s are successful in starting WWIII in the ME I wonder how many of our oil suppliers would cut off the US…who among these countries would be on whose side? Anyone have any idea?
    http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/oil_gas/petroleum/data_publications/company_level_imports/current/import.html

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  13. Carroll says:

    The more talk that goes on the more we lose sight of the main issues. Whether the IDF are monkeys pretending to be silverbacks isn’t the point.
    And frankly whatever Israel has to “say” isn’t important. We all know what the goal of Isr and the US is in the ME. The Lebanon attack is another step in that goal. The kidnapping of the two soliders is not new, this has gone on forever. No one mentions that Hezbollah and Isr had these encounters all the time. Before this incident they had one in Februrary when Hez tried to kidnapp two soliders and failed and then Isr crossed the border and killed a 14 year old Lebanon boy. So Lebanon is just the opening volly, and however it ends won’t be the ending. And it doesn’t matter whether they defeat Hezbollah in Lebanon or not, all of Lebanon hereafter will be Hezbollah at heart.
    All I want or need to know is how long the Saudi oil well$ will put up with it before they start turning some screws on the West.
    And why the absurd expressions of “shock” at the Saudis opinions of the Isr military?…they are suppose to applaud them?…it’s nothing 90% of the world isn’t saying.

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  14. facts says:

    The first two commenters make references to cockroaches and bugs. Isn’t that one of the preferred catch-phrases of some Israeli hardliners when referring to Palestinians. How is civil, reasoned dialog possible with people who hold such convictions?

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  15. MP says:

    “So, instead of taking the tack that questions do not exist, why don’t you just attempt to answer some of the questions? ”
    Hmmm. If you read what I said, I was saying that questions DO exist. People ARE asking the questions. However, I was not legitimizing a point of view, because I don’t claim to know the answers. Den SEEMED to think that asking these questions was akin to believing in little gray aliens.

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  16. Pissed Off American says:

    “From what I can see, they tend be on the left, or a certain corner of it. Those who believe that 9/11 was planned by the US. I wasn’t trying to legitimize it; I was asking a question; but it’s true that other people do hold it (based on what they say), which doesn’t give it legitimacy.”
    MP, until you are willing to engage yourself in explaining the very real questions that remain unanswered about the events of 9/11, such as Sibel Edmonds experiences, or more illuminating, William Rodriquiz’s, you are just making an ass of yourself when you mention 9/11. And in light of the now mainstream realization that the Pentagon LIED to the 9/11 Commission, only a fool would accept the “official version” of the events of that day. So, instead of taking the tack that questions do not exist, why don’t you just attempt to answer some of the questions? Short that, why not just STFU about this issue, instead of constantly demonstratating to this forum that you are talking about something you are COMPLETELY unqualified to discuss?

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  17. MP says:

    “Would these be the same ones who put forward a connection between Saddam Hussein and 9/11? Would they be the same bunch that took Kerry’s Swift Boat attackers seriously? How about Iraq’s eminent nuclear program? In other words, the stupid or the dishonest? The worst thing you can do is try and legitimize a really stupid idea by claiming that other people hold it too. I leave you to the Gray Space Aliens.”
    From what I can see, they tend be on the left, or a certain corner of it. Those who believe that 9/11 was planned by the US. I wasn’t trying to legitimize it; I was asking a question; but it’s true that other people do hold it (based on what they say), which doesn’t give it legitimacy. As to gray space aliens, I believe you are the sci-fi expert -:)

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  18. Ben says:

    DV, make that the stupid, dishonest and/or corporate media.
    I’m hearing reports that a senior Iranian envoy is here in London by the way, being used by the FCO and our esteemed Foreign Secretary as a back-channel to senior Hizbollah. So we appear to be playing both sides of the field, at least in FCO circles. It was ever this way.
    At least diplomacy is happening, despite the Cheney Administration’s best efforts.

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  19. Alan Lewis says:

    Steve:
    What did you really expect from the mouthpiece of a country whose greatest export, after oil, is fascist, Wahabbist hatred?

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  20. Den Valdron says:

    MP, I went looking and you are absolutely wrong. As far as conjectural theories involving gray space aliens, the dominant group holds that the aliens are either acting autonomously, or have entered into covert agreements with the government of the United States, or elements thereof. In at least some cases, these elements are specifically identified as Republicans. There appears to be no speculation at all that gray space aliens are allied to Al Quaeda.
    And you bet I’m laughing.
    “Any number of folks are putting forward the thesis seriously”
    Would these be the same ones who put forward a connection between Saddam Hussein and 9/11? Would they be the same bunch that took Kerry’s Swift Boat attackers seriously? How about Iraq’s eminent nuclear program?
    In other words, the stupid or the dishonest?
    The worst thing you can do is try and legitimize a really stupid idea by claiming that other people hold it too.
    I leave you to the Gray Space Aliens.

    Reply

  21. ab says:

    Why is it that only Israeli security is important when historically Israel has been the region’s biggest aggressor? Why are Hizbullah’s fairly primitive rockets a threat to Israel but Israel’s massive conventional army and nuclear weapons not mentioned as a threat to all its neighbors? Why do you insist on towing the usual Washington pro-Israeli line while cozying to the envoy of the corrupt and fanatical House of Saud? What are you afraid of? Why don’t you mention that for nearly thirty years, Israel (a state carved out of Arab land by European settlers with the blessing of Western states, but nevermind) has occupied the land of other countries and turned the occupied territories into a ghetto? Why is it that Israel has a right to legitimate self-defense from teh capture of two of its soldiers, but Hizbullah no right to self-defense from attacks against it? Or Palestinians from the occupation?
    You’ve been occasionally courageous enough to point out at the insidious nature of neo-con influence on America’s policy in the Middle East, Mr. Clemons. Why are you afraid to go all the way and admit that the fundamental problem lies with a pro-Israel bias in the foreign policy elite that has grown to ridiculous proportions under the current administration? Israel is at the center of the current problems with America’s foreign policy, and it needs to be tackled head-on. Will you do that?

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  22. MP says:

    “MP, perhaps Al Quaeda is really in league with gray space aliens.
    Posted by Den Valdron at August 2, 2006 10:16 AM”
    You laugh, but any number of folks putting forward the thesis seriously.

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  23. Linda says:

    Interesting op-ed in today’s LA Times: What Would Ralph Bunche Do? Anybody old enough to remember him recalls what real diplomacy is. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-kaplan02aug02,0,923288.column?coll=la-opinion-rightrail

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  24. Den Valdron says:

    MP, perhaps Al Quaeda is really in league with gray space aliens.

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  25. Den Valdron says:

    I’m really disturbed that the first two posts here were quite comfortable comparing human beings to cockroaches, and discussing the merits of extermination. That’s just creepy.
    Without knowing exactly what Ambassador Turki has said, the Israeli Army is entitled to substantial criticism, and even mockery on a number of fronts – intelligence failures, poor tactics, excessive carnage, and a failure to achieve any strategic objective. In my view, that’s pretty damning.
    The cooperation between the United States and Israel in this was severely imperils American credibility and ability in the region. That’s obvious.
    Hezbollah has won, Israel has lost. But in getting involved, the United States has lost immeasurably.

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  26. MP says:

    “The next round of the conflict, which this one sets the stage for, will see longer range, more accurate and more lethal rockets.”
    I wonder if world opinion would then still support Hizbollah?
    Would the world support Israel REALLY going all out without ANY regard for civilian life, but only for maximum retaliation?
    I wonder if land is really the issue? Is Hizbollah really fighting for Shebaa Farms? For a Palestinian state? The Islamicist manifestoes suggest that something much bigger is planned for the West.
    The point seems to be that Islamicists believe in the eradication of Israel. They also seem to believe in the eradication of all non-Islamic civilization that stands in the way of the caliphate.
    Or is Al Qaida simply a plot by the CIA and neocons to perpetuate constant warfare?

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  27. eCAHNomics says:

    Neocons in charge of two nuclear powers. Stop the world and let me off.
    My read of best practices for guerilla wars or counterinsurgencies (inkspot theory) is to use minimal force because to pacify an area you need the cooperation of the population. It is also labor intensive because once you pacify an area, ejecting the enemy, you need to make sure it remains peaceful and secure. This requires siginificant interaction with the population, which requires a force trained much more like police than like soldiers, whose mission is to kill.
    Neocons take the opposite tack. Kill everyone. Hasn’t worked anywhere that I know of. But it seems Israel gets off on war, regardless of its drawbacks.
    India just received an attack on the passenger trains in Bombay that was much more serious than anything that Israel has suffered. What did India do? Restart peace neogitions with Pakistan.
    H’mmm. Perhaps if Hizballah & Hamas had nukes, Israel would negotiate rather than bomb. Nukes for peace!

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  28. John says:

    Given the new realities, you would think that Israel would be finally interested in negotiating a mutually beneficial settlement instead of trying to dictate terms of surrender, as it has in the past. The next round of the conflict, which this one sets the stage for, will see longer range, more accurate and more lethal rockets. For the first time Israel is truly vulnerable. In the coming weeks, diplomacy or its absence may well decide whether the country continues to be viable over the long term.

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  29. Ben says:

    I’d go so far as to say that Israel *is* an unsustainable solution. History certainly backs me up on this.

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  30. emptywheel says:

    Steve
    I’d love to have you say more about this comment:
    But I part company from the Ambassador on the mockery of the Israeli army and for not at least acknowledging that while Israel’s response to the provocations by Hezbollah and militant Hamas members has been dramatically overdone, the fact is that Hezbollah was developing a significant military capacity that was threatening to Israel.
    There is something quite worrisome about the fact that Israel has not succeeded in quickly shutting down Hezbollah in a manner somewhat like the Israelis accomplished against three national armies in the Six Days War.
    I absolutely agree that Hezbollah is a threat and that Israel has a right to defend itself. But I’m beginning to wonder whether the problem in the ME is that Israel has yet to negotiate with an opponent who could match its strength. I mean, you’ve got a dual dynamic in the ME. At one level, Israel keeps proposing solutions that are unsustainable from a resource and developmental perspective to the Arab party. But that can’t dent the fact that with Arab birthrates, all those uneven agreements won’t stave off long-term threats to the Jewish state of Israel. Israel’s strength allows it to look at unsustainable rather than real solutions.
    And one more point about Hezbollah’s threat to Israel. Again, I agree that it’s real. But it’s military capacity doesn’t come close, presently, to Israel’s if it attacks. Hezbollah can only match Israel (and it can’t even quite do that) if it is in a bunkered defensive posture.
    Just thinking out loud, here. BUt so long as Israel is going to defend itself using 3G methods, does it make sense to encourage the formation of mature states rather than force the 4G opponents it faces to keep raising its capability levels?

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  31. Ben says:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/hardtalk/5234274.stm
    No transcript unfortunately.
    “Jonathon Charles talks to Syria’s Ambassador to London about the prospects of a meaningful ceasefire between Israel and Lebanon and the role Syria plays in the region.”

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  32. Ben says:

    “An intelligence source of mine reports that Hezbollah hit an Israeli warship with a sophisticated Iranian-made missile — that strangely was modified to try and appear as if its markings and serial numbers were American made.”
    You know, there was a Syrian ambassador (?) on the BBC the other day, and he made a very cryptic comment that stood out; in the course of a conversation about Syrian involvement, he denied that Katyushas came from Syria. Asked where Hizbollah’s weaponry was coming from, he said “who knows, it could be anywhere, it could be America perhaps”. The interviewer, obviously, responded with incredulity and the conversation moved on.
    However, in light of the above, a very strange thing to say. I’m no Dark Actor, but this is beyond a coincidence – what’s the benefit here? Why would this ploy be made?
    I look forward to your further thoughts on the matter, Steve.

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  33. Dave says:

    But one DOES set off bug bombs anyway. Just because extermination may be impossible is not a reason to give up the fight. Sometimes, if you squash enough bugs, you get a measure of peace for a while.

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  34. MNPundit says:

    I don’t think Israel CAN declaw Hezbollah as you say. Compare it to an infestation of cockroaches, you can set off bug bombs, or smash them, but even if you kill a lot of them they almost always come back. That’s how I see it with Hezbollah.

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